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Unread 07-29-2009, 10:27 AM   #1
McKBrew
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Question Gifford Pinchot National Forest Camping/Roads

Anyone been down in that area before. I'm going to probably be down there this weekend or next doing some dispersed camping with my teenage sons and was looking for some insight on interesting sights (other than St. Helens), Forest service roads to travel down, places to pitch a tent (), etc...

I'm looking at heading into the forest around the Randle area and camping somewhere in that vicinity.

If you have anything you'd like to share, thanks in advance.


Last edited by McKBrew; 07-29-2009 at 12:14 PM..
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Unread 07-29-2009, 12:35 PM   #2
lupinsea
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Last time I was down there was on a winter snow run with a Suzuki Samurai group. I got so turned around on all the forest roads I didn't know quite where we were going or coming from.

Come to think of it. I think that was the only time I've been in the Gifford Pinchot NF.

Sorry to not be of help. Have you tried contacting the local Forest Service Ranger Station/ for that forest or check out their website. Here's some things I found looking under the "recreation" menu on the left side:

Ape Cave looks like it could be cool.
A bunch of lakes. Link at the top for "lake locations.
Bunch of info on trails. Probably just hiking trails, no 4x4 I would imagine.
Waterfalls

In addition to this you might try doing some general google searches for any hiking or camping stuff related to Gifford Pinchot NF. I'm sure there are a ton of cool blogs out there or photo sites or trail write ups that should give you some cool ideas.
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Unread 07-29-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
McKBrew
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
Last time I was down there was on a winter snow run with a Suzuki Samurai group. I got so turned around on all the forest roads I didn't know quite where we were going or coming from.

Come to think of it. I think that was the only time I've been in the Gifford Pinchot NF.

Sorry to not be of help. Have you tried contacting the local Forest Service Ranger Station for that forest? Or check out their website.
Yes, I did e-mail the Forest Service. They provided some very basic info but not much more than I found online. I'll plan on stopping at the district station before heading in.

I have some ideas based on the forest service website but was looking more for personal experiences. I probably won't have any issues with my typical mode of travel down Forest Services roads. Take a map and GPS, pick a road, go down it until it comes out somewhere, or I run into the landslide that closed it.

Seriously unless someone specifically gives me a good spot to go to, I'll just find something off the beaten path and camp.

This link does have some good route info if anyone else is interested.
http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/recreation...reroutes.shtml
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Unread 07-29-2009, 08:25 PM   #4
BaddAndy
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I can tell you about every single bike trail, but almost every road except a few major ones are deadends. That Forest Service has never repaired any non-major road or bridge thats been washed out. This is how they're gonna close off the forest to only hiker use. It's a shame because the vistas you get to on a bike(that once had roads to) are second to none!
Now off my high horse. Check out the bike trail maps on the FS web site, they show alot of the roads that deadend, but still take you out to some neat areas. Go south out of Randle on FR 25 then veer left onto FR 23. 5 or so miles later, take a right onto FR 76 to Tower rock. You can go check out the Cispus center, NF campground, or into the little town. If not and you want dirt, after you cross the bridge, go straight on the dirt road instead of veering right on the pavement to hit either FR 28 which goes to the main St. Helens road FR 25, or FR 28 to FR2810 or FR 29 that both eventually deadends, but take you way up into the Dark Divide. If you don't take FR 76 but keep going straight on FR 23, keep going and just before North Fork campground(CG), take a left onto FR 22, keep going and veer left where the pavement ends. At the next fork with a bridge, veer right onto 2206. Watch carefully for breaks in the trees as there's cool waterfalls along the road. After a few miles, there's Wobbly lake(#273) 2 mile hiking trail to the lake you can swim in. I think if you press on you'll run into FR 21, take a right to Adams fork campground. If not, backtrack to the pavement and take a left onto FR 78 which'll take you to FR 21 too, take a right to Adams fork campground. Take a left to the CG but pass by it, cross the bridge and take the immediate right onto FR 5601 to Takhlakh lake. You'll be on a very ****ty Jeep road, but once at the CG, you'll see why this is an awesome lake to swim at. Be advised that along every route I mentioned, you;ll probably be stopping alot for the views, jumping into falls, swimming holes, cheching out camping areas or CGs, caves, animals, etc.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 10:04 AM   #5
McKBrew
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Thanks Andy, that was exactly what I was looking for.

Looks like plenty of areas for remote camping and the boys were mentioning possibly finding some swimming holes.

Awesome.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
BaddAndy
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You're welcome. Now uncramping my hands.
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Unread 08-10-2009, 08:44 AM   #7
McKBrew
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Had a good time this weekend.

A little poor planning led to us setting up a borrowed tent after dark using the headlights. Found some great places for future camping as well.

The 5601 road was every bit as rough as BaddAndy stated and was a complete blast.
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